Emboldened by BSY’s Politicisation of Air Strike, Congress Decides to End Ceasefire With BJP
The Congress, in the run up to Lok Sabha elections that could be announced anytime soon, put out some questions to the NDA government over what the strikes achieved, after IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan military and is set to be returned to India on Friday.
Rahul Gandhi addressing the press on Feb 27, 2019.
The gloves are off. The shaky truce on not to politicise the Pulwama terror attack and the IAF air strikes on terror installations in Pakistan is clearly over. The opposition is no longer in a mood to cede the edge which the Narendra Modi government earned after the anti-terror strike.
Amidst some cynicism in world media, the Congress has jumped in too, giving up its earlier restraint over the issue.
The party has, in the run up to Lok Sabha elections that could be announced anytime soon, put out some questions to the NDA government over what the strikes achieved, after IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan military. He is set to be returned to India on Friday.
“It is important that the sacrifice of our jawans should not come at the cost of an intelligence failure,” the Congress said, adding that “as one of our own is suffering in a prison in Pakistan”, it would like to ask the government the following questions.
- As there is no official statement on this, we would like to ask, if three JeM bases were attacked on Tuesday morning, how many terrorists were killed in the strike?
If the Balakot attack was based on the new intelligence, why didn't the same intelligence warn us about Pulwama? If they did, why wasn't any action taken?
- There are news reports claiming that PM Modi and NSA Doval orchestrated the Pakistan operation without defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman's knowledge. Is there any difference between ISI and NSA now?
- The opportunity of inaugurating the War Memorial was used by the PM to bash the opposition. Why is he silent now on such a grave issue? Don't we deserve to know the truth? Why is the defence minister and home minister shying away from the media now? India deserves answers.
Sources said the Congress, which was apprehensive of taking on the NDA government over fears that it would be attacked for politicisation of the attack, has been emboldened by Karnataka BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa’s statement.
He had said that the strikes on Pakistan would ensure a win for BJP from at least 22 of the 28 Lok sabha seats in Karnataka.
In the aftermath of the air strikes, Congress and much of opposition realised that the edge had gone to Modi government. As a senior Congress leader told News18, “When there is a war-like situation people like continuity and stability. Modi has a huge edge.”
But Congress now wants to recover the lost ground and is taking a cue from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee, who was the first opposition leader to raise questions over intelligence failure in the Pulwama attack. In fact, she went a little too far and suggested that there was a political conspiracy behind the attack.
The Congress, however, had decided not to issue any statement or suggest any conspiracy. In fact, Rahul Gandhi made it clear that the usual motor mouths must be issued a strong warning not to make any statement. Rahul himself decided to totally back the government.
But slowly, the attacks began after a week of mourning for the CRPF jawans killed on February 14. The biggest came over the PM’s documentary shoot at Jim Corbett Park for a channel. PM was accused of carrying on with his shoot despite being informed about the Pulwama attack. Congress showed pictures and media reports to suggest that the Modi government was callous.
Then again at the opposition party meeting opposition issued a statement criticising the government for not calling an all-party over the Indo-Pak issue. From then on, Congress has now decided that the gloves would now have to be taken off. The time to ask some tough questions has begun with just a few weeks left to go for polls. Randeep Surjewala said, “All principles cannot be expected from the opposition only”.
For the Congress, the ceasefire with BJP is over.
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